Thursday, March 26, 2009


This day has been a long one. It began with an exam in Anatomy and ended with 3 hours of Algebra with a little nap on the Redwood Transit in between.
I am continuing what may be the longest, crookedest college career in history. I won't even shame myself in admitting just when this whimsical journey began. Let's just say it began in the beginning and it has yet to be completed.
When I signed up for a secondary Algebra class this semester I had to ask the counselor to vouch for me that I had already taken the primary class.... albeit many long years ago. It took him an entire day of phone calls and emails to another college I had attended in order to substantiate my transcripts.
To apply for another program recently, I needed my High school transcript. When I approached the woman at the counter to ask her for it, she wanted to know if it was for one of my children.
No, I said, for me.
She paused, then stated she was going to have to go down to the basement. When she returned, she said she had to blow the dust off of it and brush the cob webs out of her hair.
Very funny...
If my college experiences were a recipe, I would not only be cooking for an entire army, but I would have a most unique ingredient list. It began with a goal, a desire to prepare for a career and enrollment at the local community college. To which I soon added some dating, some romance and eventually a marriage. I stirred in a couple of kids and promptly threw in a couple more classes. Before long I had added several more children, a couple of surgeries, a fixer upper house, and a large variety of animals and of course, more classes. I beat all of this on high for several more years which quickly became decades. So now, after all of this preparation, I am ready to put it all into the oven. With time, the mix of my academic life has begun to take shape. It looks like I might actually have something worthwhile here.
Last week, I applied for a petition to graduate with an AA degree in....
what else!...
General Studies!
Somehow, somewhere along the way, my endless hours of lectures and note taking, staying up late studying after everyone else had gone to bed, and many hard earned dollars forked out for text books has earned me the right to receive a college degree. This last Math class was the only thing standing between me and that cap and gown. So it looks like a go.
Although I won't embarrass myself (or them) by putting on that cap and gown and walking across the stage with all of those 2o yr. olds, I am still feeling very gratified that I have finally, after all these years, graduated from college. But that doesn't mean that I'm done. There will be a sequel.
Never say never.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Simple Gift

Staying indoors for long stretches of days actually has some quirky benefits. I have found that I putter around more when I can't go outside. Putt, putt..... I grab my camera to try to capture what my exploring eyes come upon. These African violets sit atop my microwave absorbing that desire-some northern light that they crave; along with whatever weird waves my microwave is perhaps emitting. The nutmeg grater awaits my morning ritual of sprinkling it's aromatic spice into my first cup of coffee. Hand-crocheted doilies that I myself don't make, find their place gracefully throughout my home.

I have always loved to collect Hurricane kerosene lamps like these. I lost most of my collection in a series of earthquakes many years ago. So, I just started collecting all over again!

These are my delicate dishes that I bought many years ago from an older gal who was downsizing her collection of belongings. The apple bowl in the background was hand painted by my mother's mother about a hundred years ago. One of the very few family treasures that I own.
My MIL gave me these years ago. I remember seeing them inside of her china cabinet; now they are just sitting inside of mine! I have no idea about them. I think they are Hansel & Gretel.

My spaces seem to get smaller as the years go by; less land to manage, fewer kids at home to look after, fewer animals to care for. I think I like it though! I find it manageable. Not too stressful.

So, there it is. The simplicity of my recent days. Don't get me wrong, the surges of stress and busyness come regularly, but I am learning to appreciate the quiet days more and more!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Duck livers??!!

In the past few years I have taken a homeopathic remedy called Oscillococcinum whenever I feel flu like symptoms coming on. I read in a health magazine that this little vial of homeopathic wonder would either shorten or lessen the effects of the influenza virus. It wouldn't prevent me from getting the flu, but it would make the whole flu induced experience less dehabilitating. So I ordered some at a wholesale price through our Bulk Co-op group. I figured if there was a way that I could survive the flu bug without getting knocked all the way down in bed, it would be worth a try. I have used it with noticeable results. Not dramatic, but noticeable.
For the last few weeks, many people around me have been getting sick. Some have had sniffles, coughs and sore throats, others have been heaving for days on end. (from both ends!) By the grace of God, I have skirted around most of these inopportune times of getting the bug. Well, just a couple of days ago, I felt my immune system kick into high gear and my energy level plummet to granny gear. My body was at war with an unseen enemy. I went on like that for a day or so until I remembered that I had this super duper unpronounceable combatant that would give me a fighting chance of overcoming the immuno-compromise that I was battling.
So last night, I took some. My aching body wasn't looking forward to another night of fitful sleep. I needed some relief. I have to say, I slept better and I feel pretty good today. I have a cough and still some tiredness, but overall, I feel better. Some say that this stuff is just placebo, but I'm not so sure.
I looked it up on Wikipedia and it says this:

The ingredients of a one gram tube of Oscillococcinum are listed as:

  • Active ingredient: Anas Barbariae Hepatis et Cordis Extractum
  • (extract of Muscovy Duck liver and heart) 200CK HPUS 1x10-400g[8]
  • Inactive ingredient: 0.85 g sucrose, 0.15 g lactose (100 percent sugar.[9])
Duck livers?? Does this mean that I am no longer a vegetarian if I am taking meds made of duck hearts and livers? Eewww. I think that this needs more research before I can make a judgement!
That's the one thing I have noticed about these "Homeopathic" remedies..... Most of the time, the names of the stuff are impossible to pronounce! Or they are in some foreign language!
Maybe I'd be better off not knowing! Is ignorance truly "bliss?"